Halei Hood is a 13-year-old dancer from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She dances at Dance Dynamics of Hattiesburg.
“For me, an 8 count represents Family, Freedom, Purpose, Creativity, Diversity, Exposure, Determination, and Dreams coming true.”
How does dance have a positive impact on your life?
“I love dancing; it’s like in my DNA! My parents claim to hear me uttering 8 counts while asleep, and at times, seemingly leaping. Showstopper was my first convention and competition. At age 6, I met world-class choreographers who saw something in me, including a tap choreographer whose leg was amputated. He inspired me to never allow anything or anyone hinder me from becoming a force within the industry. Since then, I’ve been blessed with numerous awards, scholarships, amazing teammates and teachers: Natalie Pope, Brooke Eubanks, Channinge Cannon, and Maggie Pope. Thanks, Showstopper for also believing in me from the beginning!”
How do you want to use dance to make a positive influence on your community?
“Some people view dance as a series of 8 counts. For me, an 8 count represents Family, Freedom, Purpose, Creativity, Diversity, Exposure, Determination, and Dreams coming true. My community supports me unconditionally–in person and through social media. We raised $6,000 in three weeks so that I could accept an invitation to train with The Rockettes. Many phenomenal dancers remain undiscovered because of lack of access and money. With this life-changing opportunity, I challenge every dance studio nationwide to give one-year scholarships THIS YEAR to an aspiring dancer, plus opportunities to compete. Next, let’s get Dance added to the 2024 Olympics!”